One of my favorite things about 2021 so far is that Jae'Sean Tate is Actually Good.
Jae'Sean Tate is the first Rockets rookie with 10+ assists in a game since Steve Francis in 99-00.— Taylor Pate (@taylorlpate) January 15, 2021
Hand up, I wrote him off from having any chance in the league unless he developed an outside shot or grew about four inches. He's done neither and seems to be doing just fine!
Word of the Day: Mellifluous.
ANOTHER WIN OVER HARBAUGH. Urban Meyer retired from kicking Jim Harbaugh's ass two years ago, but he just unintentionally did it again.
See, Harbaugh – widely known for his NFL experience – has some of the worst job security on the planet and just spent the past month or so shopping himself to any NFL team that will listen and found nobody who would even seriously considered it.
Meanwhile, Meyer, doing just fine in his cushy TV job and position on Ohio State's staff, seemed to be just short of begged by the Jacksonville Jaguars to come out of retirement and coach their football team with absolutely no NFL experience.
Score one more big victory for Urban Meyer over Jim Harbaugh.
While Harbaugh found no NFL takers after all but posting his resume on Monster.com, his bitter old rival is set to fill the most coveted vacancy in the NFL.
Meyer was announced Thursday night as the next coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he will laugh all the way to The Bank (TIAA Bank Field) to take over a franchise that has dibs on the top quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck (Trevor Lawrence), an additional three top-50 draft picks, and more than $80 million in cap space.
Not long ago, Harbaugh was one of the biggest stars in the NFL, where he led San Francisco to three NFC title games — and a Super Bowl — in his four seasons there. Then, he became its most unattainable prize, his early years at Michigan accompanied by an annual wave of wishful speculation.
If you would have thought it possible that Meyer — an all-time college coach but with no pro experience — would be the more desired NFL candidate, I would have had oceanfront property in Bowling Green to sell you.
And yet here we are.
Personally, I think it would have been hilarious if Harbaugh did get an NFL gig and they somehow ended up in the same division – because you know damn well how that would have played out every year.
But this is pretty great too.
FIELDS FOR FIRST? Trevor Lawrence has been penciled in as the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft since he won the national title as a true freshman. But with Urban Meyer taking the reins in Jacksonville, is there a chance he opts for Justin Fields instead?
There he sat, one of fewer than 4,000 people allowed in the building, looking down from the upper reaches of the New Orleans Superdome with his future career-changing considerations unfolding in front of his eyes.
Urban Meyer had been part of the Fox Sports pre- and post-game shows for the Clemson-Ohio State CFP semifinal game on New Year’s Day, and by that point reports of his interest in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head-coaching vacancy were hitting a rolling boil.
On one sideline was Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. On the other: Ohio State’s Justin Fields, coached by Meyer’s protege, Ryan Day, at a program Meyer reshaped into one of the sport’s unquestioned titans.
Oh, to crack inside Meyer’s head that night as he sat and watched Fields outplay Lawrence.
There also have been reports that Meyer has long been enamored with Lawrence, which shouldn’t be that shocking considering … he ranked Lawrence ahead of Fields at the start of the season on Fox.
Could his opinion have shifted dramatically in the past five months? Did Fields’ monster game that night in New Orleans change anything? Could the trusted Day perhaps sway his former boss’ mind on Fields? And would that even matter?
Meyer didn't recruit or coach Fields, but he sure knows him. He famously sat next to him at a basketball game during Fields' first few days on campus, was an assistant athletic director the entire time Fields was at Ohio State, and mentored Fields in his leadership classes while Fields was a captain.
That said, I think the whole "Ohio State connection" thing is a little overblown. If Meyer takes Fields, it won't be because he knows him from leadership classes, it will be because Fields is his wet dream of a quarterback with his passing and running ability.
Now, the NFL game is different than the pro game and Meyer might not be looking for an elite passer that's built like Herschel Walker. Plus, Meyer has been notoriously high on Trevor Lawrence, as well, so there's a strong chance that's where the Jags go anyway.
But personally, I think the Fields vs. Lawrence debate is going to be a lot stronger than people think – in this year's draft and in the years to come.
WHERE IT HURTS. As far as national title game losses go, I think this year's loss to Bama is as innocuous as it gets. I don't really see much long-term damage done to the program and as a fan, I'm less bitter about this loss than I am about a typical regular season slip-up.
But there was one gigantic missed opportunity that's going to haunt me for a while.
Now, imagine what that Tweet would say if the Buckeyes beat Bama.
For years, the narrative around college football has been that Alabama and Clemson are in a league of their own and everyone else is at least a tier behind. Ohio State had a chance to kill that narrative this year and tie Bama and Clemson with the most titles in the playoff era. Instead, the loss helps perpetuate it.
But that's fine. Let's just rattle off three straight and claim that top spot on our own, cool?
TATE STAYING A CANE? With the way things have shaken out for our good pal Tate Martell over in Miami, I would have set the odds of him transferring this offseason at around -800.
But it seems he plans to stick around, after all.
Quarterback Tate Martell was one of four Hurricanes who opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martell intends to return to Miami when the spring semester begins on Jan. 25 according to a source.
Certainly the staff will have to welcome Martell back and discussions will have to be had with him in order for him to rejoin team activities given how he has not been around the team in months after serving a suspension to start the 2020 season and being away from the team at times in 2019 due to personal reasons.
To be completely fair, this doesn't rule out a transfer. I mean, it's not like this this would be the first time Martell intended to return to a school before transferring out a few days later.
And honestly, he probably should transfer. As rough as his journey's been, he clearly has some talent and college football would be a hell of a lot more fun if he was starting for some Sun Belt team.
I've got no hate for Tate. I want to see him do his thing somewhere where he'll actually have a chance to play, and it's becoming clear that ain't going to happen at Miami.
A LITTLE MORE TIME. You can rightly expect this to be a busy week for player announcements since all underclassmen have until Monday to decide whether they will enter the NFL Draft.
But we may not hear from everybody who's on the fence, cause the NFL is giving seniors some extra time.
With the NCAA granting a fifth year of college football eligibility, the NFL informed clubs this morning that players who have completed four years must notify the league by March 1 if they intend to forego the 2021 NFL Draft and return to college, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 14, 2021
We've already heard from Marcus Williamson that he is returning, but outside of that, there have been no official announcements.
For what it's worth, the majority of Ohio State's fourth-year players participated in Senior Day festivities, presumably signaling they're on their way out. But there were a few notable holdouts on that front including Haskell Garrett and Shaun Wade.
I find it difficult to believe we'll have to wait until March for those decisions, but if the world's best third-team All-Big Ten defensive tackle and the best safety on the roster want to tease me for a month and a half, that's their right and I respect that.
SONG OF THE DAY. "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" by The Darkness.
NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Saudi Arabia launches a 170-kilometer city built in a straight line... A man injected magic mushrooms into his veins and they started to grow in his blood... Archaeologists find the world's oldest animal cave painting... A pigeon survived an 8,000-mile journey from Oregon to Australia, but now authorities deem it a quarantine risk and plan to kill it... A Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for a record-breaking $5.2 million... How much time should we spend outside during the winter?...